KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) have decided that players who are under contract to play hockey for a team or club will be considered as “guest” players in the Malaysia Hockey League this year.
With the closing date for entries set for May 2 the MHF have made it clear to all teams that they will also strictly enforce the guest player ruling which allows only four such player per team. Teams can also use two foreign players in the league.
MHF secretary S. Satgunam said yesterday that many teams have contract players but these players are not under the teams' employment.
“These players are “hired” just to play hockey but are employed elsewhere. They cannot be considered as the respective team's players. We have informed the teams on the new ruling and we want them to follow it strictly,” said Satgunam.
All teams must register their line-up on May 2.
Satgunam said that teams who are also the players' employer would not face problems over this ruling.
Several teams have hired players, especially from the national side, to play for them although they are employed by the teams.
Even teams like Bank Simpanan Nasional, Andersen Sports Club and Sapura have been doing this. Under the new ruling these teams could face problems.
“Teams who are not clear on the status of their players can seek clarification from us. The rules have not changed. We just want to enforce the 'guest player' ruling strictly.”
Last year nine teams were involved in the MHL. The nine, including maybe another two new teams, are expected to enter the fray this year.
BSN, Bumiputra Commerce, Andersen SC, Jolly Lads HC, Maybank, Tenaga Nasional, Sapura, Royal Malay Regiment (RMR) and Navy were the participants last year.
Johor Baru District HA and a team from Pahang, which is likely to be the Telekom team may be the newcomers this year.
Satgunam said there has been no other changes in the competition rules.
The MHL is set to start on May 29. There will be a one-month break to allow the national players prepare for the July Champions Challenge that will be held in South Africa. The MHL will end in August.